11:41 p.m. 9/23/05
In downtown Galveston, at least three buildings were on fire in the Historic Strand District after the early winds of Hurricane Rita downed power lines and trees tonight. One of the buildings was totally engulfed in flames in the district. The Strand District is made up of historic buildings, night clubs, shops and restaurants. In flames were a bail bonds company, a private residence, and the fraternal club Eagle Hall. That's according to Lieutenant G-J Alvarez of the Galveston Police Department. There was just a little bit of drizzle, but the high winds were whipping flames from building to building. Sparks were dancing across the street. One of the buildings was built in 1905, right after the hurricane that destroyed most of Galveston and killed at least six thousand people. It was unclear what caused the fire. Firefighters were pushing people away from the area. Earlier this week, Galveston was expected to take a direct hit from Hurricane Rita. It appeared it had been spared the worst as the storm turned to the east.
Firefighters in Galveston, Texas are battling large fires in at least two buildings, one of which is almost completely destroyed. It's unclear whether anyone was inside the structures. Wind gusts
of up to 70 miles an hour are hampering firefighters efforts. Officials estimate 90-percent of the city had evacuated in anticipation of Rita.